[Home]Routine Maintenance

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Safe and reliable kayaking depend on maintaining your gear in good order. In particular, your kayak should undergo maintenance on a regular basis. Good kayak storage can help avoid future maintenance problems - store the kayak out of the sun. If you cover it with a tarp, ensure that the tarp is not in constant contact with the kayak - ensure a good airflow over the kayak so it stays dry. Use a cockpit cover when not paddling to protect the interior from UV radiation. In storage, use a mesh cockpit cover to keep critters out while allowing it to exchange air.

General Maintenance

Every time you paddle, you should take a good look at your kayak. If you find something that is not quite right, either fix it immediately, if possible, or note it for repair as soon as possible.

Apply UV protectant to deck hardware and rubber hatch covers every few months.

Annual Maintenance

Every Two or Three Years

UV damage will result in weakening of many components on a kayak, especially lines and rigging. As well, sand and grit get into lines and webbing and damage the fibers, weakening them considerably. The exact frequency of this maintenance will depend on your paddling pattern and locale. If you paddle in Australia, for example, where four season paddling and lots of strong sun is the norm, you may do this on a relatively short cycle. On the other hand, if you are a summer-only paddler living in a northerly location where there are many cloudy days, you can stretch this out considerably.

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Last edited April 12, 2006 2:14 pm by Michael Daly (diff)